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 published: 2006-06-07

The Covenant with the Church

Pentecost in Rome: The Schoenstatt family gathers in gratitude in the Shrine of all of us


Visperas de Pentecostés en Belmonte: Mons. Gino Reali (der.), Mons. Ignazio Sanna

Pentecost Vespers at Belmonte: Bishop Gino Reali (right), Mons. Ignazio Sanna, to be ordained bishop end of June

Pfingstvesper in Belmonte: Bischof Gino Reali (r.), Mons. Ingazio Sanna, der Ende Juni zum Bischo geweiht wird

Foto: POS Fischer © 2006


Misa de Pentecostés, San Pedro: entrada del Santo Padre

Pentecost Mass, St. Peter’s: entrance of the Holy Father

Einzug des Heiligen Vaters bei der Pfingstmesse auf dem Petersplatz


Lectura: Veronica Durán-Ballen, del Movimiento de Schoenstatt

Reading: Verónica Durán-Ballen, Schoenstatt Movement

Lesung: Verónica Durán-Ballen, Schönstatt-Bewegung

Fotos: POS Santos © 2006


Belmonte: llegada de Mons. Gino Reali

Belmonte: Arrival of Bishop Gino Reali

Belmonte: Ankunft von Bischof Gino Reali


Testimonio de Mons. Ignazio Sanna

Testimony of Mons. Ignazio Sanna

Zeugnis von Mons. Ignazio Sanna


Oración en el Santuario

Prayer in the Shrine

Gebet im Heiligtum


Piedras en los cimientos de la futura estatua del Padre en Belmonte

Stones in the foundation of the future Father Statue in Belmonte

Steine im Fundament der zukünftigen Vaterstatue in Belmonte

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2006

Albúm de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum




ROME 06, mkf. "Look, the Covenant with the Church", says Maria Augusta Duran-Ballen to the rest of the wet Schoenstatters in the car: a resplendent rainbow is seen in the sky over Rome. It is the finishing touch of the Pentecost 2006, a symbol of the covenant which becomes a mission. Minutes before, the Vespers of Pentecost of the Schoenstatt Movement had concluded in Belmonte, the Shrine of all of us, crowned with the visit of the Bishop of the diocese to which the Shrine belongs, and abundantly blessed "from above" with a downpour of rain.

The birthday of the Church, Pentecost Sunday, after the Vigil of thousands at Saint Peter’s, began sunny and almost calm with "only" 50,000 pilgrims at Saint Peter’s. It is the first time that the Holy Father comes at the beginning of Mass, walking, from a side door, as if to invite all the people of God to go on their way and unite in one spirit, in the Holy Spirit. Many of the Schoenstatt pilgrims are present; again flags, handkerchiefs, and Pilgrim MTA’s can be seen. "When I came close to the Holy Father, all nervousness left me," says Veronica Duran-Ballen, who is 23 years old, and who was chosen to read the second reading of the Mass; a few days before she had sealed her Covenant of Love. "I was overcome with a great serenity and tranquility", she said, and with a smile: "Surely it was the only time in my life that millions have heard me, at Saint Peter’s, on TV, on the radio, in the entire world." The Holy Spirit is love, says the Holy Father in his homily, and just as at its birthday in the first Pentecost, on this day, the Church prays with Mary: Come, Holy Spirit…

Come, Schoenstatt Family, come to Belmonte!

That afternoon, all the Schoenstatt Family gathered in Rome was invited to come together in Belmonte, the Shrine of all of us, for Vespers in gratitude for all that was experienced during the Pentecostal days in Rome. The Abram couple, custodians of the Shrine, had decorated the Shrine beautifully for the celebration, where this Pentecostal tridium in Rome– in Saint Andrea dell Valle, at the Vatican, and at the Shrine of Rome - would end. A small group of Argentineans brought the Auxiliary again…and at the moment that it was placed at the foot of the altar, a gray cloud that had been around for a while decided to stay over Belmonte and to not move from that place anymore, shedding rain and more rain…With a blue sky on the horizon, the cloud stayed, and stayed, and stayed…and with it the rain. The celebrants gathered under a tent that protected the altar, and the rest of the memebrs of the General Presidium present like the other participants, some 200 to 250, many of them of the Italian Schoenstatt Family, followed the celebration under umbrellas…or they simply got wet.

But – in spite of the rain, an atmosphere of joy and gratitude reigned.

Welcome, future bishop!

The main celebrant was Monsignor Ignazio Sanna, of the Institute of Diocesan Schoenstatt Priests, a few weeks before being ordained as bishop in Sardinia. Along with Monsignor Wolf, he led the Vespers, prayed in four languages. Monsignor Wolf asked some people to give testimony of what they experienced during these days, and just when Father Penners reached the third one of the four points that he had announced to mention, talking about the deepened relation of the Movements with the Church, Monsignor Gino Reali, Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rufina - to which Belmonte belongs-, arrived. He had been at the parish of Santa Gemma, for Confirmations, and he arrived briefly, along with the parish priest. It was beautiful to see the cordiality with which he greeted his "future brother in the college of Italian bishops" and the pride with which he expressed that it was a great joy to know that an Italian Schoenstatter will be ordained as a bishop in Italy. It was a brief moment to experience the affection with which Schoenstatt is received by this bishop as well as by the parish. Covenant with the Church – experienced in the attachment with the parish of Santa Gemma (several parishioners volunteered during the service),experienced in the attachment with the bishops.

Monsignor Sanna shared a great joy: when he spoke with the Holy Father about his ordination, he, as the outgoing director of the Shrine, asked him if he would visit the Shrine. What a joy to hear the response: Yes, of course I will visit it, when I have time!

Teresinha Abram, the outgoing custodian of the Shrine (the Abram's time in Belmonte ends in July), then spoke, and like Father Penners and Monsignor Sanna she also stressed the experience of being Church, of contributing what is proper to Schoenstatt to the life of the Church.

For the Church and the world

The document that was to be turned in to the Pontifical Council for the Laity on Monday, June 5, was placed on the altar of the Shrine: It is the general statute of the International Schoenstatt Work. It is a solemn moment which entails a commitment. Youth from several countries prayed petitions in their languages. It is a testimony of the love of the Church and of the commitment with Schoenstatt. It still rained more and more. "Only a rainbow is missing", someone said in a low voice. Many took the opportunity to place a stone with their name at the base of Father’s statue, in front of the Casa dell’Aleanza (Covenant House) that is under construction. Many contributions to the capital of grace go with the stones, offered for the fruitfulness of Schoenstatt in the Church. Sadness is expressed over the robbing of the "Pilgrim MTA for the Pope" after the Schoenstatt Vigil in Saint Andrea della Valle. Beloved Pilgrim MTA, filled with so much desire and with so much affection, sweet memory of Father Esteban Uriburu, missed by so many, may you work miracles wherever you are, even in the heart of that blond woman who stole you, may you work miracles in the Church, and in the world…

Just as the pilgrims began their departure for Rome, a rainbow majestically appeared…it was like an "Amen" from heaven for this Pentecostal triduum.

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